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Out of the Park! Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve | Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon


Oh mama...fantastic wine.

My Pinot Noir drinkers often ask for recommendations of Oregon wines. Well, now added to my Strongly Recommended list is this Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve, Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon. It rocked!

This wine came from their estate vineyard. Specifically, Block 1, Block 5 and Block 6, all French Dijon clone 777. Block 1 is the youngest part of the vineyard, planted in 2006 at a higher elevation of 755-840 feet, it provided added brightness, freshness and aromatic expression.

2015 was an extraordinary vintage. Growing conditions produced a stunning Pinot Noir from Knudsen Vineyards. Bud break was a month earlier than normal, with early warm weather. The growing season tapered off to normal by September, providing a break from the heat and the development of balanced, concentrated fruit for harvest. And it shows in this beautiful wine.


Tasting Notes

Color: Clear rim, pale ruby.
Nose: Soft, strawberry skin, low intensity, light earthy quality with stems.
Palate: Yummy. Raspberry, strawberry, red berries, dry, medium intensity, focused, crisp acid backbone, with almost candied raspberry and delicate touch of earth into the delicious medium finish. Beautiful.

One hour: Medium intensity on the nose, cherry, hint of earth, orange skin, bit of minerality, light sandalwood, rose petals. Medium minus body, medium plus intensity, candied cherry edged with raspberry, focused, hint of stems, lively, dry, somewhat textured, touch of cream and cranberry preserve into the medium plus finish. Wow. Very good.

One hour decanted: Felt full in the mouth, juicy, red berries, cola, dry textured across the entire tongue, a little spicy, a lot going on with this wine, red berry fruit leather into the medium plus finish. Fantastic! Surprised how big this wine drank. Think it will pair with steak and umami flavors.

Day two: Rose petals, orange blossom, black cherries. Full of raspberries, bright mid-palate, orange peel, almost creamy, medium body, dry, fine tannin, with raspberry and earthy strawberry on the medium finish. Very good.

Thoughts: Wonderful at open, ready to enjoy. Also wonderful decanted. And the little I had left on day two was also delicious. I don't often encounter a red wine which drinks beautifully at open and over two days. Impressed.

Knudsen Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Reserve | Perfectly paired.

Matched this wine with a delicately seasoned steak, and paired with baked apple (especially good), and yellow bell pepper. Surprised how well I enjoyed the baked apple, it was a good pairing with this wine. Serve lightly chilled and enjoy over the next five years.
Strongly Recommended

State: Oregon
Region: Willamette Valley
Appellation: Dundee Hills
Winemaker: Nate Klostermann
Oak: French, 35% New, 16 months in barrel
ABV: 14.1%
Closure: Screw Cap
Production: 225 Cases
SRP: $70
Sample provided by winery

Visits to Knudsen Vineyards are by appointment only and require a minimum of 2 weeks advance notice.
Knudsen Vineyards
16550 NE Knudsen Lane
Dundee, Oregon 97115

Knudsen Vineyards is an iconic vineyard in the heart of the Dundee Hills AVA overlooking the Willamette Valley, Mt. Hood and the North Cascade mountain range. They have grown grapes and made wine there for 45 years. The vineyard was established in 1971 by Cal and Julia Lee Knudsen. Pioneers of Oregon’s wine industry.

By 1972 Knudsen Vineyard had 30 acres of wine grapes planted. The largest vineyard in the Willamette Valley at the time. By 1975 they had 60 acres, the largest in Oregon.

Knudsen Vineyards has provided fruit to Erath Winery since 1975 (Knudsen Erath). In 1987, they entered a long term agreement with Argyle Winery. In 2014 Knudsen Vineyard released their 2012 Knudsen Vineyards Pinot Noir. Their first wine label in 25 years.

It was a pleasure to review this wine.


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